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Arsenal, Chelsea-linked Toney 'wants release clause in any new Brentford deal'

Arsenal, Chelsea-linked Toney 'wants release clause in any new Brentford deal'
© Reuters
Brentford attacker Ivan Toney reportedly wants a release clause to be included in any new contract with the Bees amid interest from Arsenal and Chelsea.

Brentford attacker Ivan Toney reportedly wants a release clause to be included in any new contract he signs at the Gtech Community Stadium amid interest from Arsenal and Chelsea.

Midway through the January transfer window, Toney will be eligible to return to action after an eight-month betting suspension, and the Bees are fighting an uphill battle to keep hold of him long-term.

The former Newcastle United man has gone from a League Two marksman with Northampton Town to a prolific Premier League goalscorer with Brentford in under a decade, netting a total of 20 top-flight goals last season.

Toney's existing contract with Thomas Frank's side expires in 2025, and the Bees head coach admitted earlier this season that Brentford must be prepared for the possibility of his departure.

Nevertheless, Frank has also insisted that Toney is content at the Gtech Community Stadium, and it has been claimed that an astronomical fee of £100m may be required to prise him away from his current club.

Brentford forward Ivan Toney celebrates scoring against Newcastle United on April 8, 2023© Reuters

A new contract with the Bees has not been ruled out either, but according to 90min, Toney will not pen a renewal with Brentford unless the club are willing to include a release clause.

Toney has supposedly been left "shocked" by Brentford's asking price for the January transfer window, which will likely rule out the striker's prospect of joining Arsenal or Chelsea, and he is now moving to plan B.

Toney is understood to be open to discussions over a new deal with a "reasonable" exit clause allowing him to fulfil his European ambitions elsewhere in the future, as he does not envisage staying with Brentford for the long-term.

Should no agreement be reached with the club, Toney would enter the final 12 months of his contract next year, leaving Brentford vulnerable to losing him on a free transfer unless they lower their financial demands.

Toney would also be expected to receive a salary increase from any potential suitor, but it is unclear whether Brentford plan to bow to his demands of a release clause, as they still retain hope of keeping him on the books beyond 2024.

Brentford's Ivan Toney celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on April 29, 2023© Reuters

The England international has come up with 68 goals and 21 assists in 124 matches for Brentford in all tournaments since joining for a mere €5.6m (£4.9m) from Peterborough United in the summer of 2020.

Arsenal did not directly replace Monaco-bound Folarin Balogun over the summer, leaving Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah to battle for the number nine spot, but injuries have plagued the former since his arrival in North London.

Kai Havertz - who was often deployed as Chelsea's focal point - has also been used as a midfielder by Mikel Arteta this season, although Leandro Trossard has impressed in the number nine role against Sevilla and Burnley.

Meanwhile, Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson is finding his feet in West London following a turbulent start, but Mauricio Pochettino is still open to welcoming a new marksman to Stamford Bridge in January.

Napoli's Victor Osimhen is believed to be a priority target for the Blues alongside Toney, but they may have to wait until next summer before making their move for the Nigeria international.

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Napoli's Victor Osimhen during the warm up before the match on August 27, 2023
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